Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A Kit for Kids to Create Their Own Picture Books

This is a pretty creative idea. It's called IlluStory Book Kit.

A New Children's Writing Blog to Check Out!

I was excited to find out about the Write4Kids blog! It's brand new. There was a gold nugget there already. It's a link to a place where you can see if a topic has been covered in a picture book before.

New Picture Book Dummy Online Group

I just started a new group on yahoogroups for picture book artists. If you're a children's illustrator, writer, or an author/illustrator interested in the craft of creating picture books, and working on picture book dummies, feel free to join.
Here's the name of it and the link to join:
PBDummyCritters Group
home page: Group
email address:
The main purpose is to discuss the craft of creating professional picture book dummies for submission to publishers. We'll discuss tips, design, ideas, format, set-up, links, etc. on the creation and submission of PB dummies.

I'm working on one at the moment, revising it. It took much longer than I thought to get the first draft done, but now I'm ready to clean it up and redo sections of it.

Monday, November 28, 2005


Here's a non-profit organization based in Switzerland. It's the International Board on Books for Young People.

The Goodnight Moon debate

Have you heard about it? There's a debate about Harper Collin's decision to edit a former photo of Clement Hurd, the illustrator of Goodnight Moon. He is shown in the original photo with a cigarette in his hand. They want to remove the cigarette from the photo.
Personally I think it's rediculous to edit the photo of Clement Hurd, removing the cigarette from his hand. Sometimes people just go to far. I seriously doubt that one small photo of Hurd with a cigarette in his hand will make children yearn to smoke, or give them the message that it's a desirable thing. I can hear it now..when a teen is caught years later smoking a cigarette...
"'s all your fault. Ever since you read Good Night Moon to me years ago, I've been waiting to get my hands on a cigarette. "
I don't smoke, and I would advise anyone not to smoke, but I think they went too far in this case. I'd bet anything it was a boardroom decision by a 'legal expert'. I'd even venture to say that the art directors and folks working there are rolling their eyes behind the scenes. There are probably all sorts of funny comics pinned up on bulletin boards and at the coffee pot areas concerning editing photos and the whole situation.
Here's a website where you can vote on whether Harper Collins should edit the photo or not.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

karen's news

karen's news

Here's a fairly new blog by a children's illustrator, Karen Lee. She's a member of SCBWI and does wonderful work.

Kansas Reads Presents: Read to a Tot, " NO MATTER WHAT!"

Kansas Reads Presents: Read to a Tot, " NO MATTER WHAT!"
Here's an interesting blog about a Kansas State Program to promote reading.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Another Bolivian Hat

Here's another of the Bolivian hats from my collection. I love this one.

I finally got to the art store today.
After braving the 'day after Thanksgiving' traffic to get there yesterday....nearly one hour.... I found it "Closed until Saturday". It hadn't entered my mind that a store would be closed on the biggest shopping day of the year...
It was worth the wait. It's not a large art store, but it has enough supplies to be worth visiting from time to time. I stocked up on some beautiful Prismacolor pencils, some scratchboard materials, and wonderful Winsor & Newton watercolor paper. Yum. Art supplies are like food to me sometimes.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

We had our first snow last night. It was like magic..falling down softly. It seemed we were inside a snowglobe. What a fun way to begin the Thanksgiving break. The kids and I were thrilled!

Whether you're travelling to spend the day with family, at home with a house full of visitors, or spending a quiet day today, God bless you with a safe, warm and special day.
I'm so grateful for a million things...for God's grace and kindness, for His provision in my life in everything, for my family, parents, sisters and brother, and my dear husband and incredible children, and the priviledge of being a part of their lives..., for the amazing friends I have near and far away, offline and online, for my church family, (one big bunch of incredible people), for my community, the excellent schools and environment, for our country and leaders, and the freedom we enjoy, as well as those who fight for it, and are fighting right now to help others to acheive freedom and maintain it...
so many more things..but I don't want to bore folks...
Have a special day....I'm thankful for those of you who take the time to read this blog too! Thanks so much for your encouragement and the time you take to read my ramblings.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Some Good Literacy Organizations

Here's an organization that helps kids with their reading comprehension and deals with language arts. It's called Reading Rockets.
Another one I found was called Enlighten Me, where literacy stars (writers and people interested in promoting literacy) are interviewed. This literacy program is sponsored and produced by Verizon.
And here's one I've known of for years...RIF.
I've got the topic of literacy on my mind for several reasons. Today at the supermarket I saw three teenage boys out selling Christmas decorations to raise money for our local Literacy organization. It warmed my heart to see them there. No adults were with them at the time, and it was cold outdoors. They could have been doing a million other things on their first day of Thanksgiving break, but they were there. It's a small thing, but it means a lot.
For quite awhile I've wanted to encourage kids to read. Books, reading, and libraries have always been such important aspects of my life that I want to share them with others. I can't imagine how some people go through life without visiting the library at least once a week. In many places in the world libraries aren't even available.
When I lived abroad, one of the main things I missed was the public library.
I recently started taking part in our local school's "Book Buddies" program. It's a blast. It's a small thing to do, and yet it's a joy. It only takes one hour a week, and who knows what a difference it may make in one child's life.
Hopefully I'll be able to do more to encourage others in their reading..get them hooked on books like I am, or just be an encouragement somehow. Books are a terrific bridge between cultures, races and ages. They transport us to places, times and situations we would never be able to reach otherwise.
I know there are many other literacy organizations out there, but these were some that I enjoyed today.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

caderno de desenhos

caderno de desenhos
Some of her blog isn't in English, but who's fun to see her work. I think she had something in the Bologna Illustrator's show. It's inspiring to "travel abroad"..even if it's just by internet, and see some international illustrators, and what they're doing. She's from Brazil.

Books About Children's Illustration

Recently there was an interesting thread on the SCBWI boards about recommended books about and for children's illustrators. If you're a member, check it out. There are some good recommendations there for books.
While reading it, I went to to check on one book and found out about this one, The Annual 2002 Bologna Annual Illustrators of Children's Books. It looks inspiring. You can view some illustrations in it online.
I wonder if they have any more recent Annuals published though, since I didn't see any more recents versions at
I found a more recent edition. It's the 2004 edition. It seems the 2005 one isn't out yet. I checked on the Penguin site, but it doesn't show up yet.

Here's another website, of Taro Maura to check. This illustrator has been chosen several times for the Bologna Illustrators Exhibition. (these links from Google on the Bologna exhibition are addictive..can you tell? Check them out yourself for inspiration. There are many more.

Here's another book about children's illustration. I haven't heard of this one or seen it before. It's called The Magic Pencil.

Monday, November 21, 2005

My New Coloring Page

Here's the new coloring page I've finished to go with the book due out soon.
You can print it out for use for your children and others to color.

This image is copyrighted and is only to be used by children (or adults who are young-at-heart) to color.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Art Candy

Art Candy
Check out Dan Santat's new blog featuring children's book art/illustrations.
It's got wonderful art on it.

Antiquarian Booksellers Assoc. of America

Check out these antique children's books at the ABAA.
Can you imagine how much fun it would be to browse through a bookstore filled with these? Take a look at the list of book catalogs they have for every type of book imagineable! I got started looking at this site because I was hoping to find a CD of The Enschede Catalog of Typographic Borders and Ornaments. I have the book, which is full of ornate, incredible borders and ornaments. They are wonderful, but I'd love to be able to get them on my computer and use them that way. Cutting and pasting these sorts of designs would be quite a challenge. I've checked the DOver books that have CDs, but it's tough to tell online if the quality of the images is as good as Enshede's images. I don't imagine they would compare.

Blogging Curiosities and Cached images

I've been getting a huge amount of traffic to my blog from some curious reason. I posted an image to my blog awhile back from an image of Bolivian hats/chulos for a Studio Friday theme entitled Patterns. In my haste to post it, I forgot to make the image a bit smaller for the internet, and it was a huge image. I removed it now, but it's still stuck there..cached on google.
I'd love to know why there is so much interest in it...if there's some sort of fascinating online group about textiles somewhere out there in the UK or the Netherlands...I want to join!
I'll post more images of antique Bolivian hats/chulos if anyone is interested (They are copyrighted images for anyone interested in them) Please ask for permission before using any of the images on my blog that I have created.
I reposted the pattern image on my website .
A note to artists out there..and bloggers...beware when posting images on the net that they do get cached even when you remove them. Make sure to post anything you want to protect at a reduced size.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Another Online Children's Illustration Forum

Here's another online children's illustrator's forum I just found out about from a post on the SCBWI forum, which in itself is one of the best there is.
It's called A Children's Book Illustrator's Lounge or "I".
It seems to be a promising group. I've had fun searching it today and plan to take part whenever I can.
(Just what I need...another diversion....
Those who know me must be rolling on the floor laughing right now.)


I know..I know..I posted this blog the other day, but I can't help reposting it. Look at his work. He wrote a book called "Disney's Mulan" I'm going to look for it online now.....

Russian Insider

Russian Insider
Look at this website about Russian animation! Incredible artwork. I found it on Uli Meyer's blog.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Bragging about my Friend....

I got permission to post the good news about my online friend, Author and Illustrator Ruth McNally Barshaw's tremendous news...
She has a book due out for publication in 2007!!! YIPPEEE!
It's being published by Bloomsbury (the original publishers of Harry Potter!! Impressive!!) It's not only written by her, but illustrated as well! It's her first publication and she's done it all!
Here's a link to her site to read more about it.
It's such a joy to see the process a writer or illustrator goes through on the road to publication and then to see them reach their goal with the well deserved reward of publication.

Congratulations RUTH! I'm so proud of you, and can't wait to see the book and buy lots of copies to have autographed with your 'signature style'.

(Ruth is generous to a fault and well known on online lists for authors and illustrators for her tips, wit, humor, honesty and encouragement)

...If anyone deserves to be published for top quality work, as well as skill and talent, you do Ruth!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Scribble sketch blop blog

Scribble sketch blop blog
I don't know how I've missed this guy's blog. He's a children's illustrator with a fascinating blog detailing his work on illustrations.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Finished The Picture Book Illustrations!

I'm all done! The images are in the mail. What a RELIEF!
Here's the cover image of the book I just finished.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Wawa Moore: Guys Read!

Wawa Moore: Guys Read!
Here's Wawa's blog. She's a fellow illustrator from the Mid-Atlantic SCBWI who has started a blog about her writing and illustrating...I heard she has a new book out too! COngrats Wawa on your book and on your new blog. I also saw it recommended on the Chicken-Spaghetti blog.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day Wishes.

Thank you to all the veterans out there who have served our the families of Veteran's and the descendants of veterans. The sacrifices made for our peace and freedom are incalculable.
God bless you all, and protect you who are serving at this moment. You are all in my prayers and thoughts.
Thank you.

Online Illustration Crit Group

Here's a promising looking online critique group for illustrators.
I've been reading Betty Edwards book Color- A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors. It's a wonderful resource to learn or refresh the understanding of color and how to use it in illustrations and paintings. There are clear concise explanations and painting excersizes to put the information into practice.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Can you tell I'm into looking at animator's blogs these days? This guy's work is wonderful, and the posts are worth taking the time to read.
I like the title's a play on's for animators..and in Spanish the word "animite" means...something like "be encouraged" get animated...

Stephen Silver

Stephen Silver
This animator is fantastic. He's the designer of the Kim Possible characters.


Here's another blog about character design. These make me want to start all over and study animation and character design.

Monday, November 07, 2005

UliMeyer: Treasure Island Part 2

UliMeyer: Treasure Island Part 2
Wow. Look at this man's work. He is an animator from London.

Blanquet's Blog: tuesday girl

Blanquet's Blog: tuesday girl
OK. Here's another blog I just found. I'm loading them all here this morning. They are too good not to share.

Ice-Cream Monster Toon Cafe: November 2005

Ice-Cream Monster Toon Cafe: November 2005
This is the blog where I originally found the other two blogs below. Look at her work!


Here is another fascinating blog. It seems he did work for Disney. I didn't read too much about him yet, so I'm not sure if he still creates for them.


Check out this fascinating blog.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I'm in Trouble Now..............

because......I found the new Yarn shop in town. The temptation is too strong to avoid buying gorgeous, delicious, costly yarns.....
Here's an image of a scarf I'm knitting with two strands of Trendsetter Yarns. Walking into a good yarn shop makes my day. There's an atmosphere like the Christmas season I remember as a child with rich deep colors stuffed in small artful bins and shelves.
I figure that even though I'm busy working on the illustrations, I'll knit while I'm in the car travelling to soccer games, or in dentist's offices.
The illustrations I'm creating are a blast. I'm nearly done with the project, although the deadline is practically here. The most important illustrations for the story are coming up now, so I've got to focus on them. When the book is printed, I'll post some sketches and one or two finished illustrations. I wish I could go back and redo half of them (why does "genius" seem to srike after the illustrations are done?) I plan to redo some of them after the book is out to tailor them to my own ideas.

Children's illustration

As promised, here's the signature that Jackie Urbanovic created for me when she signed it last weekend in the picture book Spaghetti Eddie by Ryan SanAngelo that Jackie illustrated.
ISn't it fantastic? She whipped it out in less than a minute. I have some great children's book signatures. What a privilege. Being involved in the children's literature world is one of the biggest blessings I can imagine..there are so many amazing people, talented and generous writers, illustrators, the joy of hanging out with folks who have a sense of humor, and a high expectation for excellence in their craft. The high of creating something that will make a child laugh, and bring a love of reading and learning? There's nothing like it.